What’s in Your Harvest?


I love it when Mother Nature melts away the wintery blanket of snow on my lawn to reveal all of the stuff I should have cleaned out of my garden before the first flake flew. I always have the best of intentions for a fall clean-up in preparation for winter. Somehow, it always magically seems to snow before I get around to clearing away the dead flowers and cleaning out the large planters on my deck and front porch.

This is also typically the time of year when I start thumbing through magazines to get ideas for landscaping projects that never actually happen. Would I be guilty of littering if I took all of the pictures I have clipped and glued them down in the flower beds leading up to my front door? People would at least get the idea that I really want to achieve gardening greatness.

I am genetically predisposed to be a good gardener. My grandparents on both sides cultivated the most amazing flowers! My Louisiana grandmother put on a grand display of azaleas; she always seemed to be wearing her big, floppy gardening hat, tending to her foliage. My Wyoming grandfather was a rose man. He grew gorgeous blooms.

Now that I think about it, my Louisiana grandmother also cooked up a huge vat of spaghetti and meatballs every Sunday. Wyoming Grandpa canned his own preserves. I can microwave a bag of popcorn with the best of them. Actually, I can cook, too.

Funny thing about gardening and cooking – and all of those household arts, for that matter – anyone can do them, if they are willing to invest the time. My good intentions rarely get things accomplished. It’s so easy to want the end result, but putting in the effort is another story. I am thinking about a quote, “Your dreams will only work, if you do.” I’m sure I saw it on a bumper sticker or a photo of some artsy-looking little sign I “pinned” to one of my 20 or so Pinterest boards.

As I look at the mangled wreckage of last year’s harvest of annuals that the snow melt has revealed, I cannot help but think about all of the other things I intend to do, but never follow through on. Is this what they look like after I let them twist in the wind long enough? Or, am I reading way too much into a few dead plants?

Both of the grandparents I reminisce about ultimately succumbed to cancer. They harvested and cooked and did all of the things that make life the amazing journey it’s supposed to be, up until their bodies simply would no longer allow it. How much of life am I clipping and pinning, instead of living? When I think of my grandparents, I don’t remember all of the things they shoulda, coulda, woulda done; I remember all of the amazingly simple ways they touched people and made life beautiful. What am I harvesting?


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